<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=1018706268302959&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">
Knowledge • News • Insights
In Partnership With


Michigan Business Network
November 22, 2016 10:00 AM



2016 marks the most Thanksgiving travelers in nearly a decade

DEARBORN, MI, (November 15, 2016)  – AAA projects over  1.5  million Michiganders  will journey 50 miles or more from home this Thanksgiving holiday.  This represents the most travelers since 2007 and a two percent increase over last year. This marks the seventh consecutive year of growth for Thanksgiving travel in Michigan. The Thanksgiving holiday travel period is defined as Wednesday, Nov. 23, through Sunday, Nov. 27. The most popular travel dates are the Wednesday before the holiday and the Sunday after.

Why the Increase?
This year’s increase in Thanksgiving travel is spurred by improvements in the economy during the second half of the year, including rising wages, increased consumer spending and overall strength in consumer confidence. Despite incremental increases in the national average price of gasoline during the past couple months, AAA estimates U.S. drivers have saved more than $28 billion so far at the pumps this year compared to the same period last year.

“This is the most traveled holiday of the year, and as usual, there is an emphasis on road trips,” said Joseph J. Richardson Jr., President and CEO of AAA – The Auto Club Group. “If you are one of the 43.5 million people on the road, we urge you to be patient in traffic and limit distractions while behind the wheel.”

Driving remains most popular mode of travel for Thanksgiving
The vast majority—more than 90 percent—of Michigan holiday travelers will drive this Thanksgiving. The 1.4 million Michiganders planning a Thanksgiving road trip represents a nearly 2.5 percent  increase over last year. Air travel is expected to decrease about 2 percent, with over 111,000 Michiganians flying to their holiday destinations. Travel by other modes of transportation will increase about 1.5 percent this Thanksgiving in the Great Lake State, with close to 12,000 travelers choosing cruises, trains and buses as their mode of travel.


Total Travelers





56.     million / +2%

1.4 million / +2.3%

111,278 / -2%

44,503/ +1.5%


48.7 million / +1.8%

43.5 million / +1.9%

3.7million / +1.6%

1.4 million / +0.8%

 Gas prices remain relatively low
Michigan’s current average price for a gallon of gasoline is about $2.03, 14 cents less than this same time last year ($2.17) and 18 cents more than the average price on Thanksgiving Day 2015 ($1.85).

“Gas prices remain relatively low, due in large part to an abundance of crude oil in the global market,” said Susan Hiltz, Michigan public affairs director, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “Last year pump prices began a streak of declines that continued through the end of November.  If that streak holds true, Michiganders will have a lot more to be thankful for this holiday season.”

 Mixed bag for airfare, hotels and car rental prices
According to AAA’s Leisure Travel Index, airfares are projected to increase 21 percent this Thanksgiving, landing at an average of $205 for a roundtrip flight for the top 40 domestic routes. Rates for AAA Three Diamond Rated lodgings are expected to remain flat, with travelers spending an average of $155 per night. The average rate for a AAA Two Diamond Rated hotel has risen four percent with an average nightly cost of $123. Daily car rental rates will average $52, 13 percent lower than last Thanksgiving.

 Many travelers heading west
This year’s top destinations for Thanksgiving include many popular west coast cities, as well as perennial family-friendly favorites. The top ten destinations this Thanksgiving, based on AAA.com bookings, are:

  1. Las Vegas, Nevada
  2. San Francisco, California
  3. San Diego, California
  4. Orlando, Florida
  5. New York City, New York
  6. New Orleans, Louisiana
  7. Anaheim, California
  8. Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  9. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  10. Seattle, Washington

AAA membership matters as thousands of motorists  will be rescued this Thanksgiving
Motorists with a AAA membership can breathe  a little easier this holiday as  AAA expects to rescue more than 370,000 motorists this Thanksgiving.  Proving once again that the AAA membership is worth its weight in gold, the primary reasons for rescues are dead batteries, flat tires and lockouts. AAA recommends that motorists check the condition of their battery and tires and pack emergency kits in their vehicles before heading out on a holiday getaway. Drivers should have their vehicles inspected by a trusted repair shop, such as one of the nearly 7,000 AAA Approved Auto Repair facilities across North America. Members can download the AAA Mobile app, visit AAA.com or call 1-800-AAA-HELP to request roadside assistance.

Download the AAA Mobile app before a Thanksgiving getaway
Before setting out on a Thanksgiving trip, travelers should download the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. The app can help map a route, find lowest gas prices, access exclusive member discounts, make travel arrangements, request AAA roadside assistance, find AAA Approved Auto Repair facilities and more. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.

With the AAA Mobile app, travelers can also find more than 58,000 AAA Approved and Diamond Rated hotels and restaurants. AAA’s is the only rating system that uses full-time, professionally trained evaluators to inspect each property on an annual basis. Every AAA Approved establishment offers the assurance of acceptable cleanliness, comfort and hospitality, and ratings of One to Five Diamonds help travelers find the right match for amenities and services.

*All media outlets are encouraged to share this information, charts and web links through their news programs, websites and social media platforms.

 AAA’s projections are based on economic forecasting and research by IHS Markit. The London-based business information provider teamed with AAA in 2009 to jointly analyze travel trends during major holidays. AAA has been reporting on holiday travel trends for more than two decades. The complete AAA/IHS 2016 Thanksgiving holiday travel forecast can be found here.

 AAA is North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization. AAA provides more than 56 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com. For more information about AAA Travel, visit AAA.com/Travel.

 AAA in Michigan is celebrating its 100th Anniversary - A Century of Service this year and has over 1.4 million members across the state. It is part of The Auto Club Group (ACG), the second largest AAA club in North America.  ACG and its affiliates provide membership, travel, insurance and financial services offerings to more than 9 million members across eleven states and two U.S. territories including Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, North Dakota, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands; most of Illinois and Minnesota; and a portion of Indiana.  ACG belongs to the national AAA federation with more than 56 million members in the United States and Canada and whose mission includes protecting and advancing freedom of mobility and improving traffic safety. Motorists can find current gas prices, map a route, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance with the free AAA app for iPhone, iPad and Android at AAA.com/mobile. Connect with us on Facebook and LinkedIn.

For more knowledge, news, and insights visit:

www.michiganbusinessnetwork.comTake the Michigan Future Business Index Survey.

Michigan Business Network is an online broadcasting company that provides knowledge, news, and insights into Michigan’s businesses, industries, and economy.